My homeschool doesn’t even have to look like my last year’s homeschool!
We have now been homeschooling for 5 years, and I don’t believe our homeschool has looked the same 2 years in a row. That’s one of the most amazing things about home education, because we have the flexibility to adjust our methods and curriculums to best suit the needs of our child and family. Since we started on this journey, we have grown up from our oldest being in 4th grade and our youngest being 3 to now having a high schooler, 2 middle schoolers, and a second grader. That’s a HUGE difference! Since that time, the Lord has also seen fit to entrust us with 2 ministries in which to serve as well, further changing the landscape of our homeschool.
Yes, this homeschool year looks very different than when we started!
As I mused on the fact that our homeschool looks very different now, waxing a bit nostalgic about where we’ve been and looking forward to where we’re heading, I couldn’t help but consider how important it is to be tuned in to God’s plan for our family and our children as we lay out our ideas for our homeschool. Like many people, when I started this journey I was scared to death. We were embarking on the journey we were all sure God had called us to, and we were ready for it and excited about it. Before the start of that first year, I read everything I could find on the internet and from books. I also talked to as many other homeschool moms as I could find trying to get an idea of what I was actually getting myself into, and I prayed a lot.
As the years passed, I made adjustments, but I am not sure I ever let go of some of the ways I thought my homeschool was supposed to look– based on what I saw from other’s homeschools (or at least through the photos I saw of their homeschools.) I continued to try to wedge our square peg into the round hole that fit so well for other families. The problem was, we were NOT other families.
We were us. Our lives are crazy chaotic with all the opportunities that God has given us. Our children were learning, growing and developing in ways that we would have never imagined. After our first year of homeschooling, though, we were never afforded the time to do many of the amazingly cool things that others write about and build their homeschools upon. I wouldn’t let the dream of those picture perfect times go, though.
Clinging to someone else’s call and gifting made our homeschool a mess- and this homeschool mama even messier.
It was a grand day when I finally bowed my knee and surrendered what I thought our homeschool should look like to the One Who knows my children and their needs much better than I do. God gave me great peace to be the Nunnery family, rather than any other family. He showed me that His plan for my family– though not “Pinterest perfect” was something that He was ever perfecting. I rest in the fact that He will never forsake the work of His hands. (Psalm 138:8) Our family and our homeschool is part of that work.
Once I let go of everything I THOUGHT I should be doing, amazing things started happening. Deep conversations started occurring with my children about things they were noticing and learning. Academic excellence grew as I acknowledged my limitations and utilized resources that are available to us now. Discipleship opportunities exploded, because things were running as they should have for us.
I used to joke that I am a terrible home educator and that it was so ironic that God called us to Teach Them Diligently because of that. I am beginning to realize, though, that it is because of my weaknesses that God is working so clearly. I actually was a terrible home educator when I was spending so much time comparing myself to others, but when I look at the outcome of God’s plan for our family, my heart rejoices. He is accomplishing His will in our lives. Our children are growing. They are incredibly intelligent and well-spoken. God has allowed them to experience things most children their age do not. It’s so easy to want learning to happen in a box we’re comfortable with, but God has so much greater plans for our children than we do. It’s always best to allow Him to direct our path even when it makes us nervous. I will probably never write a definitive work on the how-tos of home education, but I pray that by the time we are finished with our journey, I will be able to see exactly what God accomplished in my life and our children’s lives through our homeschool. I pray the same for you!
Are you struggling with comparing yourself to others, Homeschool Mama? Are you striving for excellence, but you can’t quite discern the path God has laid out before you? Won’t you join us at Teach Them Diligently this year? Your heart will be encouraged beyond belief as you are led to focus on WHY you are on this journey in the first place and as you are encouraged to evaluate what God wants to do in your family and in your homeschool. You’ll even find amazing tools that will fit perfectly into the plan God has for YOU. Making the trip to Teach Them Diligently is an eternal investment in the most valuable resource you have, and I would love to see you there!